Face Off: Google vs. Bing

Although Google has become a household name and is readily accepted as a noun, verb, and the “go-to” search engine for most internet users, the search giant only accounts for 67% of traffic. While that percentage makes up the lion’s share by any standard, Microsoft’s competitive search engine, Bing, is beginning to creep up from behind and currently receives between 18% and 20% of search traffic. The remaining percentage? Dispersed across search engines fit for your next Throwback Thursday post such as Yahoo and Ask Jeeves.

As Microsoft’s Bing becomes more popular, understanding the differences between how these search engines rank pages can help you position your business ahead of the curve whether you’re a large financial corporation or a local web design Denver-based firm to optimize for both sites. This knowledge gives you an advantage over your competitors who are only optimizing for Google, effectively opting out on 20% of their possible target market. These are the top three differences that can make or break your Google and Bing rankings:

1. BACK TO BACKLINKS:

It’s no secret that Google’s ranking algorithm heavily rewards backlinks and internals links. Each new Google update refines the ranking process to ensure links are weighted based on quality to avoid black-hat link stuffing that might game the system. In contrast, Bing gives precedent to direct search terms. Happily, these two items can often be tied together so that your primary search terms and most valuable links work together to boost your ranking across search engines.

2. BE SOCIAL:

The major difference between Google and Bing is Microsoft’s ability to integrate with Facebook and Instagram, whereas Google can only weigh content from its proprietary social network, Google+. If you’re in an industry with a robust social media presence – such as hospitality or travel – you have a unique opportunity to use your social clout to attract Bing users. Because after all, when’s the last time you used Google+?

3. RICH MEDIA:

Whenever a designer or developer proposes using Flash on a website, the SEO team usually jumps immediately up in arms. For Google – content is King. And by content, they mean text, internal tagging, meta images, and more text. Bing, however, gives precedent to sites with rich media such as the images themselves, video, and even flash. By blending these search engines’ preferred content types, your site will not only appeal to both search sites, but a more diverse audience as well. That’s what we call a win-win situation.

While Google and Bing differ in many ways, their underlying goal is the same: to ensure content that users want ranks first. No matter which search engine you prefer, your optimization efforts will help deliver better content to your customers.